The Director-General of Uganda Aids Commission, Dr. Nelson Musoba, has said clinical trials on new injectable HIV treatment is being finalised and government will unveil it next year.
Officiating at the commemoration of Zero Discrimination Day in Kampala on Sunday, Dr Musoba said the treatment will reduce the problem stigma and discrimination present to Uganda’s ambition of ending HIV prevalence as a major public health threat by 2030.
“Research is in advanced stages on the injectable treatment for HIV that patients will take one dose after every eight weeks. This new treatment comes with a lot of relief and convenience…,” he said.
Dr. Musoba said the treatment will also curb the low adherence to medication as it will be unlikely that patients will forget the treatment schedules.
The function was in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb, one of the HIV-prone areas in the city.
The function was held in cooperation with Uganda Network of Law Ethics and HIV/Aids (UGANET) to raise awareness and bring government officials to dialogue with HIV infected slum women and girls who “suffer from stigma and discrimination.”
Ms. Dora Kiconco, the UGANET Executive Director, a coalition of around 30 organisations that deal with HIV issues in Uganda, said women and girls with HIV remain disproportionately affected by discrimination.
“It is absurd that maids are discriminated in homes and several other people refused jobs because they are HIV positive,” Ms. Kiconco said.
Ms Imaculate Owomugisha, the head of advocacy and strategic litigation at UGANET, a non-profit organisation that gives free legal aid to marginalised people facing discrimination, says the problem is still huge in Uganda.
“Three decades of experience in the global response to HIV show that human rights based approaches to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support -coupled with enabling legal environments to safeguard rights – help reduce people’s vulnerability to HIV,” Ms Owumoguisha said.
Daily in Uganda, up to 21 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women skip taking their HIV drugs in fear that their status will be known and that they will face discriminated against, according to the 2019 Stigma Index for Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV).
UNAIDS Uganda office
Ms Sarah Nakku, the Community mobilisation adviser of The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) at Uganda office, maintained that women living with HIV in Uganda still face more discrimination.
“Women and girls who are affected with HIV face three times more discrimination than men. They are also the most affected when they go for politics as people use their status to decampaign them,” Ms. Nakku said.
She said AIDS remains the biggest killer of women aged 15-49 years and that to end AIDS by 2030, people must end gender-based violence, inequality and insecurity and we must ensure that women and girls have equal access to education, health and employment.
About Zero Discrimination Day
Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated every 1 March, to raise awareness that everyone has a right to live a full and productive life–and live it with dignity.
Zero Discrimination Day highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change. Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination.
This year, UNAIDS is challenging the discrimination faced by women and girls in all their diversity in order to raise awareness and mobilize action to promote equality and empowerment for women and girls.
Daily in Uganda, up to 21 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women skip taking their HIV drugs in fear that their status will be known and that they will face discriminated against, according to the 2019 Stigma Index for Persons Living with HIV.
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